"it tastes but good"?


Is that a typo? Or an archaic way of talking?

11 comments:

dogboy443 said...

I love it! What year do we think? 1950's? Nice art style and color.

Jed said...

I guess back then, if your husband died you had to carry the "widow" title until you remarried, or otherwise you'd just be "The Widow" forever. Did you have to wear black all the time? When did this all change I wonder? What about "widowers"? Or was this old fashioned even at the time of this ad?

I guess if you were unmarried and over 30 you'd be a "spinster", and it was better to be a "widow" than a "spinster", even if being a spinster sounds less morbid, because being a spinster implies that you're probably not very hot because nobody wants to marry you, while you could potentially be super hot and a widow, especially back in the day when people didn't live as long and women tended to marry older husbands, while now, being a widow makes you sound old.

Being a widow back then, the Widow Wiley probably had a lot more on the line, especially as a single parent, so this widow situation has a subtle undertone of desperation. A lot's riding on that fish, and even if he's and "inveterate bachelor" (Ie: ugly or gay) and even if it's this loser's only opportunity to score a hotty, he's still got the upper hand, because she's obviously in no position to run the family farm, liquor store or whatever on her own, and soon she'll have to send the kid off to work at a factory, or into the street to shine shoes, or sell matches. She's at this guys total mercy, and even if it's HIS kid, a widow is probably the best he can hope for. Unless he's a divorcee, in which case he might as well move to another town and change his name. Any way you look at it, it's a depressing, sordid little scene, and that bird is just whistling in the graveyard.

"The Widow Wiley's husband is dead but good!"

Though that might be different than "tastes but good" because in that case it sounds more like you're saying he's "good and dead" since "good" modifies a noun rather than a verb. In the context of "taste" the "but good" situation becomes much more odd. What's going on here?

Just doing my part to invite discussion as a valued member of the Jabberous community.

Thank you.

Jed said...

Except, in that context, "dead" is a...what? Adjective? Oh why did I even try to sound like I know anything about grammar? That GED isn't worth a damned...

Mark Martin said...

Date: October 31, 1949 (same magazine as the creepy grandpa)

I, too, thought of all the weird backstories hinted at in this seemingly innocent ad. And does that poor bird have to wear all that hot Eskimo garb even when he is not in the freezer with the fish? He must be about to smother under all that fur!

HemlockMan said...

The only time I've heard "but good" used that way is when the tough guys would talk in the old gangster movies. They'd say stuff like,

"I'll take care of you, but good."

Dat kind o' thing.

Mebba da liddle boid is in da Soprano gang? Ya t'ink?

Mark Martin said...

No, if it was the Sopranos "dead but good" thing, there would be a how-it-tastes before "but good". The way she is saying it is like saying "You look but mahvelous!"

Mark Martin said...

I also love the way daughter just tosses that perfectly good haddock in the trash!

Colin Tedford said...

The bird wears the parka to protect its heart of ice. The daughter is freeing the haddock, tossing it down a tube to the ocean. The "but good" wouldn't have tripped me, but it does seem like an odd usage.

I'd like to call attention to the choice of the word "boned" in the 2nd panel. Also, I'm pretty sure "Fisherman's Dream" is a euphemism.

I like the drawing style here - and that li'l cyclops bird is a cutie!

greg said...

I guess I like my seafood to taste fresh, but usually when a fish is "right out of the ocean," it hasn't been scaled or cooked yet. But good?

SRBissette said...

Man, I just hope they empty the garbage before the stink kicks in. I mean, mom isn't shown SEEING that action taking place -- her eye's on the cyclopean frostbird -- and that's gonna start reeking to high heaven pronto.

I may lose sleep over this.

BonzoGal said...

Man, what a romantic proposal. "Hey baby, I dig your haddock, if you know what I mean." (And by the look on the widder's face, she does.)